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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fun in the Sun

Dear Family and Friends,

You can't beat yesterday, we slept in (which for us was 8 am CA time) and then I got to go running around all my old schools and neighborhoods (feeling very pumped at how easy it is to run here versus home with the lower altitude), stop at a store to find a button down shirt for Jeremy and then off to Santa Cruz to walk the beach, lay with a good book and enjoy the 90 degree weather. am sure its partly my memories but walking along the pier, smelling all the fried sea food, hearing the sea lions, walking through the old candy shop Christina and I used to visit just makes me happy. We even escaped with only a few patches of sunburn where sunblock rubbed off or we missed applying - I never even thought of applying sun block to my arm pit area but live and learn. They closed the freeway on the way back for 3 hours which made me really regret that big gulp at 7-11 I wolfed down as we left Santa Cruz! but without kids it wasn't too bad to just sit and visit.

We arrived in CA Friday afternoon and spent the afternoon and evening visiting and going out to dinner - I learned that broccoli and carrots can taste good in burritos. Walking around down town Mountain View was a bit strange as things have changed so much since I lived here. I realized I haven't really live in CA for 16 years now, hard to believe. Today Jeremy and I spent the morning over at Shoreline walking around. I took a tour of the Rengstorf house where we had our reception 14 years ago. Not much has changed. Then we went to the Heritage Oaks ward where everything has changed. I no longer really care if I attend Mom and Dad's ward as I know so few people there. Tomorrow we head up to San Francisco until Wednesday for Jeremy's conference.

Our sheet rockers finished up this week. They left a stack of unused sheetrock in the basement that I am not sure what we will do with. Next is tile in the bathroom and finish work. We got one finish work bid back but its a bit hard to take when we think of how we could do it ourselves - but I am not sure how long it would take us or how good of a job we would do. Being in CA and seeing Mom's garden has me eager to jump on all our yard projects. We had snow two times this week and its been pretty cold and windy in UT.

Jeremy spent many long hours at night finishing up Allison's school video. On Tuesday when he had set aside the night to finish everything up, his computer died. He ended up having to reinstall everything with a big frown on his face and an all nighter Wednesday to make up for it. Of course after that on Thursday the school board member over the project didn't fully like the end result so we are tweaking it when we get it back.

On Monday the girls and I toured the two options for Taylor's junior high next year. He can go to a self enclosed classroom at the regular junior high where he would be by far the lowest functioning student there or he can go to an all disabled school where he gets more services but he is surrounded by kids just like him and unable to talk and interact. I like the regular junior high option better but I wasn't too impressed with the teacher there and worry how well she would work on Taylor's goals. His current teacher who goes above and beyond is touring the schools for me next week so I am hoping he will have some ideas to help.

Spencer was thrilled this week to be honored at the school assembly for being in the top 10% on the standardized testing they did. He also successfully memorized his two recital pieces for piano so he feels like he is on a roll. He has been expanding his circle of friends lately so he has been playing with different friends after school. Its been nice to see him reach out as he isn't heartbroken when his one friend next door can't play. The motivation behind this is that his one friend started hanging down at the trampoline with some older skater boys on the street. They taught Spencer a joke that was really bad so we had a big talk about walking away from bad environments and how to not be rude but choose not to play at that time. Hard thing to implement but he is trying. He is pounding food lately and we worry that the side effect of increased appetite and obesity of his meds is starting to affect him. For example he comes home from school and a granola bar, cheesestick, apple, banana, and go-gurt, later (I kid you not!) he wants to know when dinner is! This is in a 20-30 min period so we have been talking about slowing down and letting the food hit your stomach. Jason and family gave him the Chronicles of Narnia for his birthday and he has finished The Magician's Nephew and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardobe and is on to the next book. He thinks its cool to have such a big book.

Jeremy and I have a new peeve with Spencer's school. They had a book fair this week and Spencer was there 5 min early with money in hand to buy some of their overpriced, cheap toys. I always thought book fairs should only sell books! Spencer and Allison both are in love with their little gizmo's that they ponied up for though.

Allison was excited this week to pass level 3 of swimming and move on to dolphin and butterfly. She and Spencer fight over who gets to play with Robyn as they both try to offer bribes to her. Its usually a love hate relationship with the girls. Allison is either trying to "mother" Robyn or yelling at her for ruining her latest art project or trying to play with the big girls.

Robyn is still a cute little bundle running around and begging to go outside. She throws tantrums that we all laugh at as she spits at us, tries to hit us and bite us. But she stays in time out really well yelling and screaming. But then when she gets up she says I'm sorry and gives us a hug and all is forgiven. She usually looses it when she doesn't understand why we won't let her do what she wants - i.e. whats wrong with writing on the wall or hitting someone who teases you.

Kids seem to be doing fine without us and we are enjoying the break. We don't call home when we are gone as they do better without the reminders of us being gone. I don't realize how much we stay on our toes with kids until they're gone and it feels strange to just sit or lie in bed and not worry over how much time you have before you hear a kid yelling for you. Love to everyone, Heather


Skeeutopia said...

Is it just me? Does Robyn sound like she's a bit of a diva? I think I should start preparing the boys for their cousin now. One diva is tolerable, but put two (Kaelan), even 3 (Lathan) together at once - terrifying.

You are a lucky couple to have some quality time to yourselves. We hope to get there one day!

The Skeehan Family said...

I'll have to piggy-back on griselda's comment - Robyn does sound a little diva-esk :) I am so happy Spencer is doing so well, that just makes my heart happy.

A little jealous you got to play at the beach, I might add... how fun :) And those pictures of you by the ocean are beautiful.